Up up and away
7:30 start this a.m. to go on a hike to the Picachos Caldera, 30 minutes east of San Miguel by vehicle. Our host or self described sherpa was Bill, who had left an executive position in marketing in the U.S. 20 years ago to open a top-rated B&B in SM and a traditional mask museum. Casadelacuesta.com. Our guide and plant expert was a local woman who had arranged with a landowner for us to walk on her property. Bill said he wouldn’t do this hike without the local connections.
We started at a village and walked up the road towards the hills. Our presence was announced by a very loud braying donkey. At the end of the power line and we followed the trail towards a dry riverbed. By the amount of manure on the trail this was a well traveled path by the cows, sheep, goats and coyote. Our guide said that if there were not any droppings we were off the trail. As we headed up towards the caldera the landscape gradually changed from scrub to a pin oak forest. A herd of cows, big ones, spanned the trail, with pointy things on their heads. The guides found our uncertainty about these beasts, somewhat amusing and assured us that the cows weren’t a concern, as they proved not to be.
The trail led out of the forest to an open field up to the top. This area in the spring when the rains come turns into brilliant meadows of colour. We were now close to 8000+ feet, it was both chilly and windy. Our view was out over the ancient caldera towards San Miguel. After a snack and photo ops we headed back down. It warmed up considerably and we said adios to the cows, passed the sheep and goats, confused a rooster, and headed back to the SUV and home. A very enjoyable day.